I needed to have a box of tissues by my side when I read the amazing story of Juniper, a micropreemie who was born too early—4 months early, to be exact. The article series, written by her mother, Kelley Benham, chronicles their family's struggles and Juniper's fight for life—and brings to light the issues that so many babies face when they're born before their time. I dare you to read it without shedding a tear (or a thousand).
I love the name they selected for their teeny baby (a baby so small that she was the size of a burrito at birth). Juniper is a type of tree, and its berries are used in the making of gin. It just entered the top 1000 names last year, and it's on the rise, thanks to the upswing in nonfloral nature names, such as Olive and Hazel. It was featured in a Grimm fairy tale, where an evil stepmother killed her stepson, whose remains were buried under a magical juniper tree. And it was thought to have magical properties—if you cut down a juniper tree, people thought you would die within the next year.
I don't know if the author paired Juniper with any middle name, but it would go beautifully with another nature name, such as Sky or Lark, or I also like the double J of doing Juniper Jane or Juniper James (if you're feeling like going in a slightly more offbeat direction).
Nicknames for Juniper include June or Junie, naturally, or Juno.
What do you think of the baby name Juniper? And have you read Kelley's article? I'd love to get your thoughts. And don't forget to send us your baby-name dilemmas at lamilbrand AT gmail.com, and like us on Facebook.
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com